** the chicken at this restaurant is not halal as it is fried in the same oil as the pork items so please avoid**
I have a feeling this post may cause some sort of controversy as to how you fellow readers approach my blog and any future posts I publish. Usually, my food reviews are of restaurants that consist of several halal choices for the average Halalarian, but sometimes, I may just take a step out of line and visit places that are pretty much limited in what they offer for us London Muslims. But I can’t help it; I was simply jealous – jealous that everyone else got to try the burger, hotdog, pizza and now even ramen trends before us Muslims.
Slowly though, we’ve been catching on to these trends with halal burger joints being the first to open up their doors to Muslims in London so who knows what will catch on next?
Thanks to the massive burst of people raving on about a new ramen craze hitting London, and most especially about one particular place, Bone Daddies, I used my stealth tactics (plus a huge help from my friend, Google) I found out that they do in fact serve halal chicken!
Luckily, my two most favourite people in the world were visiting from abroad so I made sure I pencilled myself and Bone Daddies into their social calendar and off to Soho we went.
Bone Daddies specialise in their ramen noodle bowls made from the broth of animal bones, hence the origin of their name. The base of every soup is the broth and in this case it is either chicken or pork. The menu is, of course, very limited to our halal palates with only three chicken broth-based soups for us to enjoy, but I was in the mood for something very different from the usual burgers and chips.
Here’s our order…
These chicken chunks were moist and succulent with a very thin layer of fried goodness. I’m assuming there is no skin on these chicken pieces when they are fried so they are able to achieve the soft but delicious and slightly crunchy layer on them. The outer coat doesn’t become too soggy, even when lemon juice is squeezed all over them, allowing it to be enjoyed throughout the whole meal. I only had a few pieces as the pieces were gobbled up in no time by a very hungry and chicken-loving oompa lumpa.
Fresh slices of fish were topped with soy sauce and a small green chilli. Those of you who are sushi connoisseurs would enjoy the fresh fish, but these were not on the same level as the fried chicken starters.
The waitress informed me twice that this was very spicy – well that just made me want to try it even more. She asked if I wanted any extras and well, since she offered, why not! So I quickly scoured the menu to find the two ultimate extras. Number one, a fat pipette and number two, cock scratchings (heh). Let’s just clear the immaturity in the air and say that the cock scratchings are in fact fried chicken skins. The fat pipette is, well what it says it is, a pipette full of liquid chicken fat. My little oompa lumpa was not amused at all and and in fact repulsed, so she stayed well away from even wanting to taste my delicious, fatty ramen.
Onto the ramen itself, the broth was creamy and was definitely spicy. It came piled high with springy noodles, bok choy, peanuts, and a medium boiled egg… the works! I don’t even know where to start. The soy infused egg was sweet, juicy and the yolk was a bright orange – I’ve never seen an egg yolk that colour before. Deep down in the spicy sesame sea there lurked a huge mass of flavoursome chicken mince as well as large shreds of juicy dark chicken meat. The fat pipette really didn’t add much to the already fatty broth and the cock scratchings were delicious, but became soggy quickly.
There was obviously a lot going on in my bowl – maybe a bit too much? I definitely thought of this to be the best ramen out of the three, but that is only my opinion. The broth was slightly too nutty but once you find your way around the bowl, it becomes a tasty affair.
Sweet 3 Miso
For all you sweet toothers out there, this is the ramen you’ve been looking for. The chargrilled sweetcorn adds the extra sweet punch to the savoury miso broth and with a chunk of sweet butter melting its way into the broth; the soup became a real nice consistency. My oompa lumpa naturally loved this one the best and almost refused to share it with us, but it too came with succulent noodles, dark chicken meat, and a boiled egg.
This soy ramen soup comes simply with chicken and cock scratchings (really guys!). The diner who ordered this polished off the whole bowl licking the fat off his lips and claiming that bone daddies was in fact a 5 out of 5! The broth is soy based but has a slight kick and a big crunch from the scratchings. The only downside is that the chicken was slightly bland, but once enhanced with the sauces provided on the table, it turned out to be a delight. Some people believe a dish should need additional sauces or spices to make it tasty and that it should already be perfect to the bite, but with ramen noodles like these, everyone has a different taste to satisfy.
Bone Daddies is not for everyone. Some may be put off with the amount of pork on the menu but for others, it’s a whole new experience as to what halal requirements really do offer for us. Bone Daddies take extra care of their customers, even providing hair ties! It’s in a cool, hip area with the place becoming packed once lunch and dinner time hits so be prepared to queue up or go between those two time slots.
For those readers who are apprehensive about what I blog about now, especially when I keep on mentioning cock scratchings, I apologise, but I want to provide you all with something new, fresh and different to the standard Turkish affair on your Friday evenings. The warm bowls of ramen are perfect for those windy days in London where the summer sun seems to have disappeared. So be hip and adventurous and let me know if you decide to try it out!
Halal status verified by chef on the chicken only.
Check out their hip menu at: http://bonedaddiesramen.com/